May 5, 2014

‘I was rooting for her . . . she was rooting for me’

Albert H. Robertson knew he would be up against some stiff competition when he was named a finalist for Lexington 1’s teacher of the year.

Albert H. Robertson knew he would be up against some stiff competition when he was named a finalist for Lexington 1’s teacher of the year.

But the Meadow Glen Middle School social studies teacher figured he had a 2-in-5 chance in celebrating either way.

His wife, Blair Robertson, a second-grade teacher at Meadow Glen Elementary, was also among five finalists for this year’s award.

Albert Robertson was named this year’s winner – with his wife by his side – during recent ceremonies at the Lexington 1 Performing Arts Center at River Bluff High School.

“The idea that I am helping students to be motivated and successful is what drives me to constantly seek quality in my work and challenge myself daily in this noble profession,” Robertson wrote in his application. “What excites me most is that each and every day I make a difference in the life of a child, helping to ignite and activate an inner passion for lifelong learning and service to our fellow man.”

Robertson has taught for eight years. He received a bachelor’s in history from Newberry College and a master’s in educational administration from the University of South Carolina.

He is a member of the Palmetto State Teachers Association, Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, S.C. Council for the Social Studies, S.C. Social Studies Supervisors Association, S.C. Geographic Alliance and the S.C. Middle School Association.

Robertson will now compete in the state-level teacher of the year competition. He spoke recently about his selection.

What was your general reaction to being named district teacher of the year? “I was completely shocked. I thought that it was going to be someone else, truly. I felt blessed to even be a teacher of the year from my school this year, much less the district teacher of the year in Lexington 1. It was a complete surprise for me.”

What was it like being a finalist with your wife? “We had already talked about it and we were good. I was rooting for her to win, and she was rooting for me.”

And what was it like at home when you were chosen? “We knew that the possibility of a tie wasn’t really a possibility because of the way that we were scored by the district. To be honest, she got to enjoy some of the prizes, like a basket from a local cosmetics store, some ferns that the district bought us, and several gift cards that were graciously donated from local stores that are geared more toward women. She and I were both excited about it.”

What has been one of the biggest educational philosophies that has continued to guide you in your teaching career? “I am all about building relationships with kids and getting to know them as people. The old quote says, ‘They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.’ This is so true. I love doing what I do every day because I’m able to be passionate about my subject area while also getting to know really neat kids and, hopefully, make a meaningful impact on their lives.”

So what is some interesting fact about yourself that your students might find surprising? “ I wasn’t the biggest fan of social studies growing up. I actually thought it was pretty boring. I remember overheads with transparencies loaded with notes that I probably couldn’t tell you about today. I wanted to be a musician or music teacher first, but I had some really awesome teachers in high school and college that convinced me to change my mind. Social studies is the coolest subject to me because you can incorporate just about any other subject into history. I can teach a little bit of everything.”

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